At last my third diorama has been completed! The final phase dealt with painting, assembling, individualizing, and siting the figures that would populate the scene and tell its story.
This overhead view shows where each of the Resistance members ended up. I’ll use the next two photos to say more about each of them.
In the foreground we see a fighter armed with a captured German MG-42 machine gun. To his left is a sentry box, whose occupant declined to surrender to the Frenchman, with predictable results.
Parked in the center of the cobble-stoned street is Citroen Traction Avant 11 CV sedan, which the resistants captured back from the occupiers who had appropriated it. This holzgas (wood gas) powered vehicle was used by a German kriegsberichter, or war correspondent; its license plates were painted out by the French. In hopes of preventing Allied aircraft from strafing the camouflaged auto, the Tricolor is being painted onto its roof, by a female fighter whose pistol is to her left, near at hand.
The fellow watching his comrade’s artistry is armed with a British STEN submachine gun, likely delivered in a parachuted container. He’s wearing a U.S.-style steel helmet, perhaps acquired from a member of the French 2e Division Blindee, commanded by General Philippe Leclerc, which was given the honor of liberating the City of Light.
The fellow on the left is in charge of this detachment of Resistants. He, like the fighter armed with the MG-42, sports a brassard (armband) on his left sleeve. These helped identify them as Resistants. In addition to the French national colors, the brassards feature the Cross of Lorraine, a vertical line with a pair of horizontal bars. (This symbol, and the “V” for victory, have been painted on the Citroen’s rear doors.)
Finally there’s the man wearing the blue beret. He is carrying MAS-36 rifle, and a German “potato masher” hand grenade.
I enjoyed conceptualizing and putting together this unique diorama. I hope you found the journey to its realization – it sure took a heck of a long time – interesting and educational. Of course I look forward to receiving your comments regarding the project!